The judge in Lori Loughlin’s college bribery case called allegations of misconduct against investigators to be “serious and disturbing.”
U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton issued an order Friday responding to claims made by William “Rick” Singer, who has been accused of masterminding the scheme, in notes he took doing during the course of the investigation.
Singer “made rehearsed calls to the defendants designed to elicit evidence for use in the government’s prosecution,” Gorton wrote. “Singer took notes after certain of those calls … In those notes Singer describes a troubling conversation. He indicates that an unidentified agent named ‘Liz’ and other unspecified ‘agents’ aggressively pressured him and directly instructed him to lie to elicit incriminating information from potential defendants.”
“The Court considers the allegations in Singer’s October notes to be serious and disturbing,” Gorton added. “While government agents are permitted to coach cooperating witnesses during the course of an investigation, they are not permitted to suborn the commission of a crime.”
Loughlin and the other defendants are seeking a dismissal of the case based on the accusations of misconduct. Gorton did not make a ruling on dismissal but ordered prosecutors to respond to the misconduct accusations. A trial date has been set for October 5.
Loughlin and Giannulli were first arrested in March of 2019 as part of a nationwide college admissions cheating case. In total, the more than 50 people arrested were charged with paying bribes of up to $6 million to get their children into top universities like Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and USC in what authorities described as the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.”
Since being caught up in the case, Loughlin was dropped from the final season of Netflix’s “Full House” reboot, “Fuller House.” Hallmark Channel, where Loughlin starred on “When Calls the Heart” as well as top-lined numerous original films, also cut ties with the actress.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this story.